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The City of Ember: The Graphic Novel (Books of Ember) Hardcover – September 25, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Books of Ember
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (September 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780375868214
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375868214
  • ASIN: 0375868216
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #698,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The city of Ember, the only light in a vast world of darkness, is dying, and two young teens might be the only ones who can find the way out of their darkening town—if they can escape the machinations of a corrupt mayor. DuPrau’s well-received dystopian and postapocalyptic middle-grade novel is ably adapted into graphic-novel form by Middaugh and Asker. Middaugh is not afraid to cut as needed, removing scenes and characters with the hand of a screenwriter. The result is a streamlined work that moves quickly while retaining the heart of the original story. Fans of the novel may notice the loss of some of the drama in the foreshortened scenes, but readers new and old will appreciate the muted colors of Asker’s artwork, which clearly shows the dinginess of Ember and the generic quality of people who have bred past specific races. The main characters are drawn young, but their maturity should help the graphic novel, like the book, cross over from elementary- to middle-school appeal. Grades 4-7. --Snow Wildsmith

Review

Starred Review, School Library Journal, November 2012:
“­Lina and Doon have spent their entire lives surrounded by darkness. Lina is an optimist and a dreamer who just knows there is something beyond the city of her birth. Doon is much more practical. He knows that if he can just get a good look underground, he can fix the city's constant blackout problem. A chance encounter on Assignment Day allows the two children to meet and exchange jobs, essentially giving the other what they've always wanted. They start to unearth an evil plot by the city's obese and greedy mayor to steal away precious resources from the people who live there. Using clues left behind by Lina's late grandmother, they travel beneath Ember's tunnels in a desperate attempt to find a way out. Based on DuPrau's novel (Random, 2003), the story brings the city of Ember to life using many muted yellows and earth tones. While the interior vantage points from Lina's and Doon's perspectives make Ember's public buildings and homes seem large, advanced exterior shots surrounded entirely in black give readers a sense of just how isolated Ember is. Lina's wonder and Doon's frustration are easily visible through Asker's skill in detailing facial expressions, helping to visually elevate a story literally besieged by shadows. Dystopian stories can be dark, and this one is literally so, but its ultimately hopeful message will resonate.”

Booklist, October 15, 2012:
"The city of Ember, the only light in a vast world of darkness, is dying and two young teens might be the only ones who can find the way out of their darkening town--if they can escape the machinations of a corrupt mayor. DuPrau's well-received dystopian and postapocalyptic middle-grade novel is ably adapted into graphic-novel form by Middaugh and Asker. The result is a streamlined work that moves quickly while retaining the heart of the original story. Readers new and old will appreciate the muted colors of Asker's artwork, which clearly shows the dinginess of Ember and the generic quality of people who have bred past specific races."

Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2012:
"Effective use of light and shadow in the art give this graphic adaptation of the 2003 novel a properly spooky look. The tale is told in a visual, cinematic way with an admixture of quick reaction shots and wordless action sequences that allow readers to race along almost as fast as they can turn the pages. Asker's penumbral scenes underground and broad, grassy Eden above are strongly atmospheric and depict both settings and the clearly delineated cast (particularly the grossly corpulent Mayor) in tellingly crisp detail."

More About the Author

Jeanne DuPrau is the author of The New York Timesbestseller The City of Ember and its companion The People of Sparks. She lives in Menlo Park, California, and drives a hybrid car that runs on a combination of gas and electricity.

Customer Reviews

Dallas did a really good job.
Saenz
I feel the magic is still there, whether you read the whole novel, the movie, or the graphic novel.
Patrick Moore
My 9 year old son Logan loves this book and highly recommends it.
Logan'sMom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By RompingStallion on September 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
This was actually my first time (with my daughter) reading City of Ember. This book does an excellent job graphically setting the stage. It really makes you wonder what kind of strange world the kids are living in. The graphics also do an excellent job portraying the actors emotions. I definitely recommend this, especially to read with a daughter/son. But be warned, we stayed up way past bedtime the first night :)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Moore on November 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
I read The City of Ember when it first came out, when a 12-year-old neighbor girl told me about it. I read it again aloud to my wife and her son. Then we saw the movie in the theater. Then we saw the DVD. Now I've just finished the graphic novel. I love this story!

(spoiler alert) At first I was sad that in the graphic novel there are so many details missing. However, I got hooked into the story. I was only going to read for a little bit but I read the whole book in one evening. And something happened to me. It happened every time I read the book and saw the movie: when Lina and Dune come out of the cave and smell the fresh air for the first time in their lives, I got chills. Then as the light begins, and the sun comes up, the first time they have ever seen the sun, I get tears in my eyes. Even though this is the fifth time I have read or seen the story, it still is magic to me.

And now that I think about it, this is simply a retelling of the Allegory of the Cave, from Plato's Republic. In that story, men are trapped in a cave, never having seen natural light. They are chained in a way so that they can only see the back wall of the cave, where projections are shown to them by way of a lamp and puppets behind their backs. They believe the puppet shadows are real, that they are all that is real. But a many may break free of his shackles and go outside the cave, and see real things, with real light. It is a metaphor for a kind of perception or enlightenment. I think Jeanne DuPrau has done a wonderful service to Plato by putting the story in this form, with children being the discoverers. It deepens the metphor, because they have not yet grown to believe all the things that adults are supposed to believe.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Vlcek on May 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read the book first to my students and then shared this book with them...then they had the chance to compare their pictures that they in visioned to the artist's interpretation....so fun to hear their discussions!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Cash on May 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book, expecting it to move me to the highest heights, because of its reputation... But when I got thru it...not so much. I was only left with more questions instead of answers... I dont know... When I read non-fiction I want to learn HOW to do something, when I read fiction, i want to learn WHY, or WHY NOT to do something. And I don't feel like I did here. Its not completely a bad book, the characters were engaging and interesting to a certain degree, and the author had me rooting for them at one point. But again, not a strong enough character arc, and a weak ending.
Kudos to the artist(s) for a great job adapting and illustrating it though!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tammy Staten on February 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This adaptation of the story is very simple and easy for anyone to read. This version over simplifies the story leaving out so much if the mystery and discovery the Lina and Doon make. I recommend reading this book after you have read the original.
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By A Voracious Reader on November 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
*Book source ~ Library

The Builders created the city of Ember long ago. The only light is what is produced by the water running underneath the city, but the electricity is beginning to fail no matter how many times repairs are made. In addition, the city is running out of food stores and the government is corrupt. Two children, Lina and Doon, discover a way out of the city, but will the citizens believe them? Unfortunately, they have to flee before they’ve told anyone about the potential way out. Have they jumped from the frying pan into the fire? Or is there really a better place than Ember?

I haven’t read the books though they are on my TBR since my daughter enjoyed The City of Ember. In fact, I picked up this graphic novel because she did enjoy it and after she read it I thought, what the heck and picked it up.

It was a quick read as most graphic novels are and I really liked the artwork. The story gives me a pretty good idea of what the novel is about and I’ll still read it (eventually lol) because there is no way for a graphic novel to tell the whole deal. All-in-all a very enjoyable read.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Very creative storyline. The author held my attention all the way through, and I really looked forward to the second book in the series. It wasn't until a few weeks later that I discovered this had been made into a movie a few years ago!
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By Edna on June 6, 2014
Format: Paperback
Good book. I liked the movie far better however. That's rare, liking the movie more than the book. Go figure.
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